Walking up to 2 miles or more, depending on preference, either along the Grand Canyon Rim or hiking a short distance into its depths.
At your leisure, take the park shuttle to the most famous of all Grand Canyon eateries, El Tovar Hotel, and enjoy a plated breakfast using prepaid vouchers. Take in the historic ambiance, large picture window views of the canyon, and a full selection of breakfast entrees. Juice, coffee, tea, water included.
The El Tovar was designed by architect Charles Wittlesey, who also designed the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Depot. Take the remainder of this morning for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most using the park's pocket guide and map. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. The National Park Service includes a free shuttle along the West Rim Drive to Hermit's Rest with access to numerous scenic viewpoints (Powell, Hopi, Mohave, and Maricopa points to name a few) with sweeping views of the Canyon and the Colorado River. You might also like to go for a rim walk, hike further into the Canyon, attend an NPS ranger program, or just find a quiet spot to contemplate and gaze out at the Grand Canyon, taking in all of its grandeur.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like from a variety of venues on the South Rim. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
This afternoon we'll meet at a predetermined time and location to travel to and explore the scenic East Rim of the Grand Canyon to Desert View. Desert View is the location of Mary Jane Colter’s famous Watchtower and some of the best views of the Colorado River. Known for her many works for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad, Mary Jane Colter was a female architect in the early 20th century and helped blend Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival architecture with Native American motifs. The Watchtower is an interpretation of a prehistoric “tower kiva’ with lavishly painted interior walls by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. We will have time to explore the Watchtower with our Group Leader available to answer any questions. In late afternoon, return to the hotel via Mather Point and Grand Canyon National Park's Visitor Center for a final look at this world wonder.
At a nearby restaurant, we'll enjoy plated meals for our celebratory dinner with salad, an entrée and side, and dessert, plus a choice of coffee, tea, or water; other beverages available for purchase.
Gather for a program wrap-up at the restaurant. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.